In Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again, Edgar interrogates life, human behaviour
When you hear the word, ‘mad’, what comes to the mind? Mentally ill? Deranged? Insanity? Erratic or unstable behaviour? What, precisely, makes up the characteristic traits of an emotionally challenged man?
Well, your guess is as good as watching Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again, a play from the stable of the Duke of Shomolu Production.
Unlike other productions from the outfit, Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again is almost 100 per cent snapshot of daily challenges of an investment banker and University of Ibadan-trained political science, Joseph Edgar, as the eyes of the camera through which all the events are seen.
Before now, the outfit had produced plays such as Loud Whispers, Isale Eko, Oba Esugbayi, 3some, Emotan and Aremu.
In Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again, Edgar makes his family the subject of discussion months after the demise of his wife, Erelu.
Featuring a stellar cast that included Patrick Diabuah, Kelvin Mary Ndukwe, Kemi Bickersteth and Chantal Edgar, the play mirrors their lives through the eyes of the Duke of Shomolu.
Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again is a well-crafted anthology of works running the whole gamut of emotions ranging from excitement to pain occasioned by the loss of a loved one.
The monologue serves as a soothing balm to a society, which is just emerging from the ravages of the corvid-19 pandemic.
It also serves as a guide to self-reawakening. It provides unusual entertainment while addressing issues of life and living.
The play brings to remembrance, the story of 22-year-old student of Microbiology at the University of Benin City, Wail Vera Omozuwa, who was raped and murdered in the church; it also treats cases such as pains, rejection, lost of dear ones, even rape in marriage, among others.
“The only way we can salvage this country is to create a wave of popular interest in policy making and execution at the highest levels. An EndSars protest type of a thing but better structured and with the clear objective of throwing up forward-minded leadership come 2023 through the ballot box,” Edgar said.
He also said, “there is a need to throw up strong issues; issues we try not to confront as Nigerians. Issues of pains, rejection, lost of dear ones, rape. Not just rape, which is now common, but also rape in marriages. So, I decided to use my own life as a point of contact to reach the society.”
He said that in doing the show, “we had Tto deal with issues outside our control. We contemplated on issues such as the fear of another lockdown, sponsors being worried about safety but luckily, we got the Lagos State Safety Commission with us so, everything went smoothly, but this is the most challenging production ever.
“The play’s message is enormous — confronting things, be yourself and don’t follow the crowd. We decided to use Ikoyi, an open-air ground because of COVID-19 and we got few audience to make the play a success.”